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The demophobes and the great fear of populism | openDemocracy - 1 views

  • What do these political forces have in common? In truth, very little. Some are ideologically and politically poles apart. If these parties are politically different, why indiscriminately refer to them as ‘populist’?
  • Over the past fifteen years or so, the word’s meaning has changed quite considerably. Nowadays, it rarely defines authoritarian regimes which appeal to the masses, but rather designates left-wing or right-wing movements which are seen as challenging the dominant ideas or policies.
    • Arabica Robusta
       
      Questionable history.  Latin American "populism" typically referred to regimes that tried to be independent of the United States.
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    Wikimedia Commons/thesupermat. Some rights reserved. So we are all 'populist' now? Many in the media and in academia seem to think so. In Europe, various political movements and politicians are described as 'populist'.
Arabica Robusta

Populism and the enchanted world of 'moderate politics' | openDemocracy - 1 views

  • I essentially question the epistemological flaws surrounding the uses of the notion: when is it safe to call a politician, a political party or movement ‘populist’?
  • The stakes are high because to label someone as ‘populist’ is to imply that s/he is somehow a potential or real enemy of representative democracy. My critic refers to the ‘pernicious effects’ of populism which underlines the notion’s very negative connotation. Let me here reply to Catherine Fieschi’s major criticisms.
  • Cas Mudde, one of the major specialists on the subject, concedes that populism is a ‘thin-centred ideology’.
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  • According to Michael Freeden’s ‘morphological analysis’, an ideology has its own ‘ineliminable’ core of values exercising control, with logically and culturally adjacent concepts that are further connected to peripheral concepts.
  • To point out that populism does not have the depth and sophistication of a political ideology is in no way an attempt to suggest that this is a ‘wishy-washy’ notion, even less to ‘to discourage analysts’, let alone ‘to bamboozle democrats’ as Catherine Fieschi alleges. No, it simply means testing the epistemological merits of the notion in order to reveal its heuristic limits.
  • In the 1930s, millions marched behind the banners of Fascism and Communism. Today, no one would die for a populist cause. Populism is no ideology simply because it offers no positive worldview. It is just a means to an end, a device to appeal to the masses.
  • Think for a moment: aren’t those amorphous policies of ‘mainstream’ parties responsible for their rising unpopularity and their decreasing credibility?

    Why should political scientists uncritically use the media clichés about ‘reasonable moderates’ opposing ‘undemocratic radicals/populists’?

  • It is a fact that populists thrive on ‘wounded’ democracies. But ‘wounded’ democracies are imperfectly run polities, where economic inequalities are dire, and where the elites have often broken their promises. Thus let’s not forget who provoked the ‘democratic fracture’ in the first place. Why do some political scientists seem oblivious to the fact that the ‘moderates’ who let down their electorates are mainly responsible for their own demise?
  • Again, the task of the political scientist should not be to condone or condemn this state of affairs, but to try to understand why people feel so disenfranchised. Consequently, the researcher should tackle and discuss the policies which make those populations suffer. Unfortunately, this is not something which most political scientists seem in the least concerned about. ‘Not to laugh, not to lament, not to detest, but to understand’ said Spinoza. Before looking down on the disoriented and angry voters who fall for the demagogues or dismissing all ‘radicals’ as undisputed ‘populists’, it would indeed be worth pausing for a moment to understand how those agents feel and to ask what they want. Political scientists should also wonder why more and more ‘moderate’ voters no longer believe in the enchanted world of ‘moderate politics’.
Arabica Robusta

Building a civil economy | openDemocracy - 5 views

  • my argument is that humans are more relational, ‘gift-exchanging animals’ who are naturally disposed to cooperate for mutual benefit. In the following I will attempt to show how such an alternative anthropology can translate into a ‘civil economy’ and transformative policy ideas: rebuilding our economy and embedding welfare in communities.
  • In the wake of Marcel Mauss’ work on the gift, this model emerged as a legitimate way of rethinking economics: humans are naturally social animals with dispositions to cooperate in the quest for the common good in which all can partake.
  • Building on Polanyi and G. D. H. Cole’s guild socialism, one can suggest that an embedded model means that elected governments have the duty to create the civic space in which workers, businesses and communities can regulate economic activity and direct the ‘free flow’ of globally mobile capital to productive activities that benefit the many, not the few.
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  • At national and supranational levels, caps on interest rates would help curb the predations of creditors upon debtors. Linked to such limits on financial domination are new incentives and rewards for channelling capital in productive, human and social activities.
  • f the declared aim is to preserve the dignity of natural and human life, then all participants in the public realm have a duty to promote human relationships and associations that nurture the social bonds of trust and reciprocal help upon which both democracy and the economy rely.
  • Thus, the link between different actors and levels is a series of abstract, formal rights and entitlements or monetised, market relations (or again both at once). As such, welfare beneficiaries are reduced to merely passive recipients of a ‘one-size-fits-all’, top-down service. State paternalism and private contract delivery cost more to deliver less, and they lock people either into demoralising dependency on the central state or financially unaffordable dependency on outsourced, private contractors.
Arabica Robusta

West 86th - The Administration of Things: A Genealogy - 0 views

  • “If men never disagreed about the ends of life, if our ancestors had remained undisturbed in the Garden of Eden, the studies to which the Chichele Chair of Social and Political Theory is dedicated could scarcely have been conceived,” Isaiah Berlin told his audience at Oxford when he assumed that position in 1958. Philosophy was at its best when it was being contentious, especially when it was being contentious about the meaning and purpose of our common existence. Too much agreement was an abdication of its ethical responsibility
  • The task of philosophy was not to settle disputes, but to unsettle them, to encourage them, to keep them going. For it was only through disputation that we could resist the rule of experts and machines, the bureaucratic-technocratic society foretold by Saint-Simon and championed by Marx and Engels, a society in which we replace the “government of persons by the administration of things.”
  • Louis de Bonald pointed to the hard choices that the state would have to make. “In the modern state, we have perfected the administration of things at the expense of the administration of men, and we are far more preoccupied with the material than the moral,” he wrote. “Few governments nurture religion or morality with the same attention that they promote commerce, open communications, keep track of accounts, provide the people with pleasures, etc.” 12
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  • All history, Comte argued, is a history of class struggle. Not the struggle between master and slave, lord and serf, bourgeois and proletarian—that was still a couple decades away—but the struggle between two classes of phenomena: “critical” phenomena that contributed to moral and political decay and “organic” phenomena that promoted individual and social regeneration.
  • The objective was to protect against arbitrariness in all of its manifestation. Earlier political thinkers had tended to associate arbitrariness mainly with absolutist governments, but for Comte any form of government was susceptible so long as it rested on “metaphysical” rather than “positive” principles.
  • Engels believed that the obsession with detail that had characterized utopian socialism—its compulsion to work out every last aspect of future social organization—is precisely what made it so utopian.
  • When, at last, it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary.
  • “I think it was Trotsky who used a very plain but very telling metaphor,” the historian Isaac Deutscher told graduate students in a seminar on bureaucracy at the London School of Economics in 1960. “The policeman can use his baton either for regulating traffic or for dispersing a demonstration of strikers or unemployed. In this one sentence is summed up the classical distinction between administration of things and administration of men.”
  • Our hasty genealogy of the “administration of things” must conclude with its latest, and quite possibly last, iteration: Bruno Latour’s “Parliament of Things,” or Dingpolitik. Initially proposed in his book We Have Never Been Modern (1991), then extended in a massive exhibition and accompanying catalog, Making Things Public (2005), Latour’s program has attracted a growing number of partisans in the world of political theory
Michael Haltman

Must see video: Obama's "Julia", Julia's alter-ego Julia/Julian and campaign incompetence! - 2 views

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    The introduction of Julia was a classic mistake by Obama and his campaign, and the video about Julia/Julian is a fantastic rebuttal by the Right! The best hope for the Republicans in November besides the incompetence of the Obama campaign, the Obama record in office, the arrogance of Obama and his political tin ear will be the quality of the campaign run by Romney. It will hopefully be strong and direct
Michael Haltman

Flowchart: Should you vote for Barack Obama? - 6 views

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    This article provides a flowchart that will help someone who's on the fence decide if Obama is the right choice for them in the November election. If they answer honestly then all roads should lead to the upper right-hand corner!
Ako Z°om

the 99% out of ideal US society ... - 6 views

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    those photos show people who have joined the big manifestation on wall street .. and far on other places around the world .. !! :))
    The big problem of banks (and their trading-banksters...) is now world crash economy ! ... just some basis reasons ... but JOIN too ! :)
bill butler

chrysler and compuware blacklisted engineer viewer count update - 4 views

just search blacklisted engineer fro any search engine and it is now at 3,101,947 viewers thanks for your support!

chrysler compuware jeep dodge

Michael Haltman

The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel: What happens if your title insurance underwriter stops ... - 2 views

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    New Jersey Title, an underwriter of title insurance policies in the northeast, has become a casualty of a financial and real estate crisis that has taken many victims.

    Some of these casualties might never have occurred if the events of the past few years had not taken place, but because they did there are firms and individuals who now face the need to find alternatives at a time when those alternatives may be difficult to come by.
Michael Haltman

If a picture paints a thousand words, here are fifteen thousand about President Obama! ... - 15 views

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    If you like pictures and politics plus you want to learn more about the real President Obama and his administration, these 15 pictures are priceless!
Michael Haltman

Tepco heading towards bankruptcy as executives leave for vacation!* - 1 views

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    As the Congress does its imitation of dealing with the debt ceiling crisis, why is it newsworthy that the Senate has canceled its holiday break?
S D

5 Website Secrets Your Political Opponent Doesn't Know - 8 views

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    5 Website Secrets Your Political Opponent Doesn't Know
Michael Haltman

The Political Commentator: Note to Obama: If you want to be treated like a superpower t... - 3 views

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    Presidential impotence!

    The implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya represents one more pathetic national security performance by the Obama administration.

    Letting the U.N. Security Council do the decision making for him after weeks of inaction, the Obama administration was upset at the French

    for acting too aggressively. Once more it was the French acting too aggressively.

    If we want the United States to be considered the world superpower, we need a president who will act as if he wants and believes

    that to be the case.
Michael Haltman

How are those Iranian sanctions working? or Iran's nuclear program just keeps chugging ... - 0 views

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    As the Middle East continues to churn, possible out of control, Iran continues on its merry way towards inclusion in the nuclear club!

    In the article are just two recent examples that highlight the attempt, one in Norway and one involving Zimbabwe.

    This while the U.N. sanctions and President Obama seem totally incapable or without the desire to do anything about it!
Michael Haltman

Blogging Rule # 5 aka how to get 1 million hits to your blog - 3 views

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    If you want hits to your blog, girls in bikinis is a good place to start!
Michael Haltman

The Political Commentator: Middle East flash points dynamically updated (Interactive map) - 5 views

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    With demonstrations and protests spreading around the Middle East, staying on top of the events can be difficult. This interactive map that dynamically updates will allow you to do it.
S D

Text Messaging for Political Candidates - 3 views

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    With the rise of cell phone usage, candidates across the country are starting to use mobile texting as an effective campaign tool. As mobile computing blurs the line between online and offline campaigning, we are going to see more use of crossover technologies by political campaigns.
S D

SEO Tips for Political Campaign Websites - 0 views

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    What's worse than not having a campaign website? It's having a campaign website that no one can find! Some of our clients do not have much web experience, and may build out their website pages in ways that hurt, rather than help their cause. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of building your website pages to make them more attractive to search engines and have them rank higher for related searches.
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